Autonomy in the Anthropocene? Libertarianism, Liberalism, and the Legal Theory of Environmental Regulation
(2017) 40:1 Dalhousie Law Journal 279
45 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2016 Last revised: 30 Aug 2018
Date Written: September 1, 2016
Can there be autonomy in the Anthropocene? Libertarian environmental law scholar Bruce Pardy’s Ecolawgic: The Logic of Ecosystems and the Rule of Law argues that contemporary environmental law violates the right to autonomy and runs afoul of the rule of law. Pardy proposes an alternative model of environmental law premised on the logic of ecosystems and free markets. Pardy’s Ecolawgic suffers, however, from the very same conceptual infirmities that substantially undermine the real-world application of the free market paradigm on which Ecolawgic is largely based. Notwithstanding this critical flaw, Ecolawgic may be read as an aspirational model of environmental law and policy capable of disciplining the practice of environmental governance. The result – “autonomy in the Anthropocene” – gestures toward a pluralist and polycentric model of environmental regulation capable of enhancing our freedom to fashion a collective future in what is an existentially-threatening epoch of our own making.
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